Shotgun Blast from the Past: THE WINTER OF FRANKIE MACHINE by Don Winslow and COTTON COMES TO HARLEM by Chester Himes

Today we bring you a special double Shotgun Blast from the Past, profiling two classic hardboiled crime novels – The Winter of Frankie Machine by Don Winslow, first published in 2006, and Cotton Comes to Harlem, by Chester Himes, first published in 1965. 

The Winter of Frankie Machine by Don Winslow

9780307277664Frank Machianno is an upstanding member of the community on the San Diego pier. To those who can remember far back, like Dave White, the cop buddy he surfs with, he was Frankie Machine, an enforcer during the Mafia’s last heyday. Through a very bad day for Frankie that reflects on a violent life, Don Winslow shows how you can’t put that past past behind you, in his character driven mob novel The Winter Of Frankie Machine.

When Frank comes home from a long day and a date with his girlfriend, he finds two punks in his drive. One is the son of an underboss who messed up with another mob faction. Frank knows he has to go to the meeting to help smooth things out or be on the wrong side of the father. when he arrives, it is a set up to take him out. After killing his would be hitters, He is on the run and hiding out from both sides of the law. You can find copies of The Winter of Frankie Machine on our shelves or via

Cotton Comes to Harlem by Chester Himes

9780394759999The sixth in  Himes’ Gravedigger Jones and Coffin Ed series, Cotton Comes To Harlem follows the two detectives as they pursue a group of thieves that have stolen $87,000 from a con-man trying to swindle folks out of a whole lot more. The detectives follow a complex path to justice – they must locate the stolen money, arrest the thieves who stole the money from the con-man, arrest the con-man, and return that money to its original owners. Coffin Ed and Gravedigger Jones must also face down indifference and racism from their own department, as their white colleagues try to get the two to drop the case and give up on restoring the stolen money to its original, hard-working owners.

As they go about their work, each detective offers sly social criticisms and cynical witticisms, and they take on their adversaries in a rough and efficient manner. Himes fills his work with rich detail, even while preserving the spare prose so valued in the genre. This darkly humorous and tough-as-nails book is as hard-boiled as crime fiction comes! You can find copies of Cotton Comes to Harlem on our shelves or via


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